After having struggled for three days trying to get my blog back online, I could spend hours writing this post, going into detail at how inefficient Lunar Pages is as a hosting company.
But I don’t want to piss them off just yet because I am still using their services for at least another month until I fully review my options.
However, I was forced to dish out an additional $70 for them to switch my blog to a virtual private server for a month ($39 for the server and $30 fee plus tax) because it kept crashing the shared server it was on.
I guess this is a sign of a successful blog.
It all started Tuesday night a few hours after I had posted the story about Scott Conover, who made national headlines in June when he was arrested for photographing police in Tennessee with an IPhone.
I had interviewed Conover by phone earlier that day and ended up with an exclusive story that took the Internet by storm.
As I do with many of my stories of national significance, I posted it on www.reddit.com where readers vote and comment on the most interesting stories. I also posted it on www.digg.com, but I’ve never received as much love from Digg as I have from Reddit with the exception of my arrrest. (But I did not even post that one on Digg because I had not heard of it back then).
I posted the Conover story around 6:30 p.m. and by 10 p.m., the story had received more than 3,000 page views, including 2,000 since 8 p.m. The most telling comment was the following:
I sat back and contemplated opening a beer to celebrate a successful post.
Then the phone rang. It was Conover.
“What happen to your website? It’s gone.”
To make an extremely long story short, I ended up cutting and pasting the article to my other blog, Magic City Mania, and redirecting this blog address to that blog.
Of course it wasn’t that simple because Lunar Pages, for whatever reason, froze me out of my account, knocked all my sites offline and even shut down my email server, before going home for the night. So much for their “24/7 help desk”.
So the story was only up on Magic City Mania for about ten minutes before the blog went offline. I ended up having to create a new password, which set everything back to normal, with the exception that this blog was still offline.
Within an hour, the story was permanently back up on Magic City Mania. Here is how the conversation unfolded at Reddit:
The Conover story ended up receiving a whopping 18,000 page views during the next 20 hours. And this on a site that has averaged less than 100 page views a day since I launched it in April.
Right now, three nights after I posted it on Reddit, the story has 589 recommendations and 175 comments. It has also been linked on various blogs, where it has been discussed significantly.
Below are Magic City Mania’s blog stats (click on the images to enlarge them). The only other bump in the graph is from my Jailhouse Jaunt story, about the night I spent in jail after my arrest, which received more than 2,000 page views. And that’s only because I linked to it from here.
Check out the “busiest day” stat on the left hand side.
The reason the story didn’t cause Magic City Mania to crash the server was because the site has a total of only six posts on it. Long posts. Good posts. But a mere six posts (which is why I don’t complain about averaging less than 100 page views a day).
The other reason is I have some kind of issue with my scripts on this blog. I really don’t know what that means or how to address it, which is why I chose to go another month with Lunar Pages instead of jumping to another host, where I might have the same problems.
So hopefully, I can figure this out and get this site hosted by another company that has 24/7 support because my site doesn’t shut down at night so why should my tech support?
Although it has been a very frustrating and tiresome three days, I can’t get too mad because I remember a time in early January when a good day meant receiving 200 page views a day.
So I definitely have the momentum going with this blog, which is very satisfactory because this is a topic that concerns many Americans, including republicans and democrats.
As a guy who posted his original account of the arrest on Democratic Underground, I find it refreshing (and not so surprising anymore) that republicans have turned out to be some of my strongest supporters.
I fully appreciate the support and readership I’ve received on this blog, not to mention the constant tips that keep me informed of incidents around the country (as well as the UK).
I even appreciate comments from my critics who tend to be republican and never fail to stimulate the conversation.
So if you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, please help keep it going by donating to my Legal Defense Fund. And thanks to those who’ve already donated.